An Analysis Of Walt Whitman's Song Of Myself

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Embracing a New World “Song of Myself,” Whitman’s great lyric poem, exemplifies his democratic ideals without diminishing the intense feeling of a real world. Walt Whitman had some radical ideas about America, democracy, spirituality, sexuality, nature and identity. He used “Song of Myself” to explore those ideas while preaching self-knowledge, liberty and acceptance for all. Above all, “Song of Myself” is a poem of incessant motion. Whitman is opposed to self-righteous judgments and feelings of guilt and shame about the body. In the article “Walt Whitman’s different lights” by Robert Martin, he illustrates how Whitman’s ideas such as democracy, unity and life in general, including sexuality and death have not been properly appreciated by American…show more content…
Whitman imagined a democratic nation as a unified whole composed of unique, but equal individuals. Whitman assumes the positive relationship between personal feelings and the relationship with other people. This concept is illustrated in the stanza, “I celebrate myself, and sing myself, and what I assume you shall assume, for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you” (Whitman 37). He doesn’t discriminate elements of life and he elaborates that there is equality among all things in the world, whether dead or alive. “ I have said that the soul is not more than the body, and I have said that the body is not more than my soul” (Whitman 47). This verse illustrates the tranquility in the poem, which gives all components of the body equal merits. In lines as “I can appreciate anybody”, Whitman seems to be saying that at the bottom of our hearts, we are all equal. Also, Martin mentioned how Whitman is particularly interested in telling stories about regular people, and he often portrays slaves, workmen and even prostitutes. However, Martin gives more credit to Whitman’s qualities of a friend and caregiver. He explained that while Whitman was working as a nurse during the Civil War, he helped the soldiers by giving them food and he felt affection for them. In addition, he didn’t discriminate gender equality as…show more content…
“ I Exist as I am, that is enough” (Whitman 47), his words express how great he feels about himself and the self-confidence he has about his sexual orientation. In fact, Whitman describes sexuality as an element that makes a soul sensual. Martin recognizes Whitman’s contribution to homosexual writers and readers since his position on desire between men has little in common in minority view taken by many sexual radicals in the 1960’s (47). Homosexuality was strictly considered as something abominable and degrading at that time. However, Whitman stood up for the rights of oppressed and disadvantage people. He argued that sensual feeling is part of life. He didn’t see homosexual people as a small group that requires equal rights; instead as a fundamental condition of a democratic society (Martin 47). The encounter of two individuals in section five expresses Whitman’s interest in relation to sex, which he seems as the fusion of body and soul. Whitman influence has been enormous, and has always being recognize his part in the redefinition of sexual desire (Martin 48). In sections five and nine, he gives explicit descriptions of sexual intercourse and physical apparatus. Indeed, Martin remarks in his article that even though masturbation was seen as an economic crime, as well as a moral transgression, Whitman celebrated the

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